Project Title

Multimodal Transportation Facility Resilience Index

Collaborating Universities

University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716

University of Virginia
351 McCormick Dr.
P.O. Box 400742
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4742

Principal Investigator(s)

Nii Attoh-Okine (UD) - Email:
Lindsay Ivey-Burden (UVA) - Email:

Funding Source(s) and Amounts Provided (by each agency or organization)

USDOT: $216,100 (Federal)
UD: $138,600 (Match)

Total Project Costs

$216,100 Federal/$138,600 Match

Agency ID or Contract Number


Start Date


Completion Date



A new paradigm for complex systems performance and maintenance decision making is developing in the form of resilience engineering. Depending on the subject area, different definitions of resilience exist. In this project, we adopt a definition appropriate for resilience in transportation systems: the ability of the system to recover and adapt to external shocks, which include natural, intentional and technogenic disasters and failure due to poor designs. These disturbances can ultimately affect the smooth and efficient operation of systems and may demand a shift of process, strategies and/or coordination. In most cases, transportation facilities are interconnected and the analyses should consider properties of this strong interdependency. These interdependencies and uncertainties of multimodal transportation facilities are addressed through the development of a resilience index in this project. Development of this index will be formulated by addressing the following:

  • What aspect of the system should be resilient?
  • To what kind of change would we like the system to be resilient to?
  • What variables are changing?
  • How fast are the variables moving from threshold levels?
  • Is the system resilient to external shocks (natural or artificial) or to technogenic disasters?

Finally, the project will employ probabilistic graphical models to develop multimodal transportation facility index.


Nii Attoh-Okine

  • Formulate problem using probabilistic graphical models

Lindsay Ivey-Burden

  • Background literature on multimodal transportation facilities

Attoh-Okine/ and Ivey-Burden

  • Develop analytical approach for determining resilience index

Interpretation and application of output


Potential Implementation of Project Outcomes

Some of the results of the project will be presented during the Annual Transportation Research Board Meeting and in a detailed technical report for the Federal Highway Administration. The principal investigators will also introduce the methodology as part of the senior undergraduate and graduate classes. Finally, a ‘cook book’ with detailed examples will be provided to serve as a guide for engineers in calculating the resilience index of a specific multimodal transportation facilities


Expected Benefits/Impacts

The goal of this project is to work use a cross-disciplinary approach (transportation engineering and data science) to formulate and develop a resilience index for multimodal transportation facilities. There will be cross training of graduate students in resilience engineering, sustainability science and large data analytics. This will open up a new direction in transportation engineering.